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  1. #1
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    Smuggler

    This bike could be awesome and may very will make it on my short list of bikes. Will be waiting to see the rest of the details & geometry.

    Smuggler

    The Smuggler joins a handful off 29ers currently on the market that eschew chasing a pre-set amount of travel in order to focus more on getting the right geometry. Transition ended up with 115 millimeters of rear travel for the bike, and when paired with a 130mm fork that gives it a slack-for-a-29er head angle of 67 degrees. Eliminating the front derailleur mount made it possible to reduce the chain stay length down to 435mm in order to keep the bike lively in the corners. Frame only: $1799, Smuggler 2: $3299 USD (Deore / SLX 1x10 drivetrain with 42t cog, SLX brakes, RockShox Pike RC). Smuggler 1: $4899 (RockShox Pike RCT3, SRAM X1/X01 drivetrain, XT brakes).

    Smuggler-trans-smuggler.jpg
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

  2. #2
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    Here's the geo and some build details:

    Album Transition 2015 - Fotoalbum auf MTB-News.de

  3. #3
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    Thanks, that geometry looks great!
    "I ride to clear my head, my head is clearer when I'm riding SS. Therefore, I choose to ride SS."~ Fullrange Drew

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    Transition guys- I notice that it is designed around a 130mm forks, and specced with a Pike on the full builds, however only 140mm Pikes are available aftermarket. Are you going to be able to order these as a frame and fork option with the 130mm version of the Pike?

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    looks like they were "inspired" by their neighbors on this one

  6. #6
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    Tenacious Doug - you can order a 130mm pike from any bike shop that deals with BTI-USA as a vendor.

    BTI | 29" Suspension Forks from Rock Shox
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir_crackien View Post
    Tenacious Doug - you can order a 130mm pike from any bike shop that deals with BTI-USA as a vendor.

    BTI | 29" Suspension Forks from Rock Shox
    I'm in the UK, so that's not very easy!

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    R: Smuggler

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenacious Doug View Post
    I'm in the UK, so that's not very easy!
    Try bike-components.de, I checked it a couple of weeks ago and it had 120mm and 130mm Pike listed.

  9. #9
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    Touche!
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  10. #10
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    Noticed it says in there that the bike fits a front mech, but I have read elsewhere it doesn't.

  11. #11
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    Transition - Please do a raw frame, the test mules look really good.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

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    Hoping to see a 7.5x2" shock on here. Monarch Plus would be a lovely option.

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    I just did some interpolation of the images. It looks like 7.5x2. I'm pumped. Can't wait to get my hands on one of these frames.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    Transition - Please do a raw frame, the test mules look really good.
    And leave it raw like the protos. All these raw/polished frames that are for sale get ruined with the clearcoat that's added on.
    konahonzo

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurospek View Post
    And leave it raw like the protos. All these raw/polished frames that are for sale get ruined with the clearcoat that's added on.
    I agree with you 100%.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

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    Pretty excited to see this bike in the wild! Geo looks great and I like the look of the new suspension design. They really have the build nailed...to my preferences at least. X01 + Shimano brakes + Pike/Monarch FTW!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crevello View Post
    Pretty excited to see this bike in the wild! Geo looks great and I like the look of the new suspension design. They really have the build nailed...to my preferences at least. X01 + Shimano brakes + Pike/Monarch FTW!
    They nailed the low end model too. Transition is killin it with these 2015's

    Smuggler 2: $3299 USD (Deore / SLX 1x10 drivetrain with 42t cog, SLX brakes, RockShox Pike RC).

  19. #19
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    XL pics please

    x2 raw..

    Seat tube length accurate on that geo chart?
    ...

  20. #20
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    wheelbase on the XL looks loooooog - 47.9 inch! anyboby ride one at interbike dirt demo day?

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    Smuggler

    Congratz. In Germany i have to wait til Dec/Jan. Mine will be a blue one with a custom build

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    Quote Originally Posted by MostChillin View Post
    Smuggler 1 stealth black in medium ordered. Expecting delivery next month. It checked all the boxes for me so I decided not to wait... Stoked.
    Nice man! The bike really does check all the boxes. Congrats!

  23. #23
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    Ride report please on that Medium!

    Hoping this will check all my boxes as well when I buy something next spring.

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    The real question is when I can I order?

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    Hey TB when will we be able to get a full parts spec on the smuggler 2? Specifically interested in the brakes, cranks, and if it also comes with a reverb stealth! Thx

  26. #26
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    here you can see the specs
    Smuggler-1682521-tvv4q3b8ucc8-2015smuggler-large.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by MostChillin View Post
    Find the right dealer and you can pre-order to ensure you get one of the bikes in the first allocation which is expected to be shipped in October.

    I contacted one dealer (not close - I don't have any dealers close to me) that sold both Kona's (I was also considering a Process 111) and Transition and was told the new Transition models wouldn't be available until the new year (another shop on the East Coast told a friend the same thing...).

    So I then contacted DropnZone who shared that first allocation should be available in October so I provided a deposit to be able to get one of the Smuggler's available in the first allocation.
    Regarding the delivery dates - this is always a tough one for us to predict and it will vary by country. While we hoped to see our initial USA delivery around October, we're not going to be able to hit those dates.

    When? It's too early to say with any certainty, but would be pushing this back into December sometime at best. Best to just keep communicating with your local dealer and we'll provide updates as soon as we can.

  28. #28
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    New website is live! All the new bikes look great, especially the Smuggler!

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    Transition guys, thanks for the heads up on the delay. I say better to be transparent about it than leave people wondering.

    On a different note, can you give your thoughts on how the Smuggler fits into the lineup with only 111mm of rear travel?

    As someone who has been on both a newer Bandit 29 and Covert 29 I'm wondering what end of the spectrum the Smuggler hits. The Bandit 29 was a good peddler, but seemed to get a little overwhelmed in the chunky high speed. The Covert 29 hammers chunky high speed however in my opinion is a tradeoff for pedaling efficiency and snappiness. Thanks

  30. #30
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    New site is great, really shows off the bikes well.

    I was under the impression the Smuggler 2 was coming with an after market 42 chainring already installed on the x10? I won't be going up any So Cal mountains at 32 x 36

    Also no dropper on the 2, but I guess that explains the price point.

    Bummer about the delay.

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    That is correct. 7.5" x 2" stroke shock size.

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    The Smuggler does NOT fit a front derailleur. The Patrol, Scout, Suppressor all feature a low direct mount front derailleur. S3 SRAM or E2 Shimano.

    Thanks!

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    No_Worries...

    The Smuggler #2 includes a Hive 42t adapter cog and the front chainring spec is a 30t. From the factory the wheelset has the standard 11-36 cassette installed and the adapter card as an accessory in the box. It is up to the dealer to install the adapter cog or pass it on as a spare part.

    The SLX Rear Derailleur is compatible with the OneUP RAD cage (which you would have to purchase separately). That would make the ultimate $35 upgrade

  34. #34
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    Would running a db inline be possible?

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    I don't see why not. Theoretically you could even run a DB Coil...

  36. #36
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    This thing is gorgeous. Great upgrade guys and I'll be keeping my eyes out as these actually hit the trails. I'd be all over one if I hadn't JUST bought an enduro 29er.

  37. #37
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    XL photos anywhere?
    ...

  38. #38
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    I want one of these frame so bad. I have recently bit in to the short travel aggressive 29er things and am completely hooked! its allows you to pedal to the place with pretty good easy and then kill it on the way back down.

    This frame fits the bill better than any other bike I have seen......
    2500 mile goal for 2016

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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhill View Post
    XL photos anywhere?
    Seconded. I'd like to see what the bigger frames look like.

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    Here is an XL proto for those of you wanting to see the bigger size.

    Smuggler-_ceb5262_tbc_smuggler_blue_com_low.jpg

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    TB - maybe i don't speak for all the tall riders out there, but i sure am interested in a ride review from upcoming outerbike on an XL. although interesting, i just can't figure the new geometry: lower botttom bracket from previous bandit around 13"; pedal strikes? inch and a half increase in wheelbase from previous bandit; how this is going to get me around tight corners? is it the short CS that you guys found that makes such a big difference? (thanx because most of us big guys don't get a chance to test ride XL rigs!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by starre View Post
    TB - maybe i don't speak for all the tall riders out there, but i sure am interested in a ride review from upcoming outerbike on an XL. although interesting, i just can't figure the new geometry: lower botttom bracket from previous bandit around 13"; pedal strikes? inch and a half increase in wheelbase from previous bandit; how this is going to get me around tight corners? is it the short CS that you guys found that makes such a big difference? (thanx because most of us big guys don't get a chance to test ride XL rigs!)

    This is the most dialed geo I have seen for an xl 29er ever. It is low, slack and long. Not to mention it will be playful with the short chain stays and low BB. It has a steep seat tube, so it will pedal well since the rider will be over the pedals. Additionally, it has 115mm of travel in the back so the bike should pedal well and have a nice mid-stroke that should give a lot of pop so it should be super playful. Finally, they nailed the reach at over 19". Big guys over 6'4" can finally run a 55mm stem and have a bike that fits. On paper this bike is perfect.

    I own a camber evo with a 130mm pike and this bike takes what I love about the camber and makes it better with a much longer reach and shorter chain stays. This freaking smuggler should absolutely rip! My camber just rips and the geo on the smuggler is even better!! Well done Transition, I will own this bike some day!

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    No FD support is a deal breaker for those who live where we need a 22. Bummer. Being a short travel 29er, I would think this would be targeted for xc use. Seems like a mistake to not have FD mount. I am looking for a more fun alloy replacement for my Tallboy carbon, and the Smuggler looks awesome except for this fatal flaw!

  44. #44
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    I understand the frustration, but I don't think this bike is aimed at the XC crowd. Personally, I'd rather let the Geometry goals be the primary focus. It's the classic "you can't have your cake and eat it too" argument.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Train View Post
    No FD support is a deal breaker for those who live where we need a 22. Bummer. Being a short travel 29er, I would think this would be targeted for xc use. Seems like a mistake to not have FD mount. I am looking for a more fun alloy replacement for my Tallboy carbon, and the Smuggler looks awesome except for this fatal flaw!
    Thinking this bike is designed for "XC" is probably looking at rear travel and none of the other numbers. If I had the cash, this or Banshee's Phantom would be my next bike... I love the idea of short travel, but more with the slack, long, low geo. From me, and me only, I've discovered I don't need much more that 100mm in an FS bike and 29er wheels; I'm constantly surprised what my "XC" Epic, and before that Mach429, can ride, survive, and thrive on. I'm sure it would only get better with the geo of these bikes (or Kona's Process111).

    On the FD mount: I go back and forth between both sides. This year, I've run both (cheap) 1x and 2x. I really like the positives of both set ups. For me, going 1x ("easiest" being 30x36) meant walking some steep stuff at times... but I only really missed top end on the road back to the car. I like that Transition didn't change up the geo just to throw on an FD mount. One of the advantages of ditching the FD was not having to mess with chain stay length to fit one. At least Transition is doing that with the Smuggler. For me... I love that they throw in the 42t pie plate with the "low-end" build if you need it. If I really needed that low end... there's always 30 (or even 28)X42.

    Just my 2 cents.

    By the way... Transition... LOVE the look of the XL frame/bike in blue... Always great to see beautiful, big bikes!
    Last edited by padrefan1982; 09-28-2014 at 04:31 PM.

  46. #46
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    Smuggler is a great looking bike and looks burly enough to ride whatever you can throw at it. I'm no suspension guru, but anyone got any insight into how this design would compare to the other designs out there like a DW sultan, Yeti SB95 or Niner RDO? I know there are many factors such as travel, head angles and chain stay length that dictate how a bike pedals upwards and how it handles the downs. Just wondering (without riding it) what you can expect from the smuggler.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Train View Post
    No FD support is a deal breaker for those who live where we need a 22. Bummer. Being a short travel 29er, I would think this would be targeted for xc use. Seems like a mistake to not have FD mount. I am looking for a more fun alloy replacement for my Tallboy carbon, and the Smuggler looks awesome except for this fatal flaw!
    To each their own. I personally dont think there is anywhere that NEEDS a 22 in the front. 30t w/ 42 rear is low enough to get you up the steepest stuff, you may just have to put some more power down with a slower cadence, or stand up. Most people who say you need a granny gear have never tried a 1x setup. Change your riding style slightly and be rewarded ten-fold. I am buying this bike definitely for XC, but really, as a do-it-all. I dont think Transition makes an exclusively XC bike. It seems like the descending characteristics are always at the top of the list, 67.5 HTA is pretty aggressive for a 29er. I imagine my final build having a monarch plus and some burlier wheels, and taking this baby on some bike park laps.

    YMMV.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrniceguy42 View Post
    To each their own. I personally dont think there is anywhere that NEEDS a 22 in the front.
    It's on very long rides where a 22 comes in handy. I have a 30x32 on my hardtail and I can climb anything while standing, if I need to, but I can't imagine a 20 mile ride on that thing and struggling to climb the last long grinds. I think a 30x42 would climb a wall though.

    I do like that with a front derailleur, you change the kinematics of a suspension bike, and can make a more aggressive climber out of a relatively lazy frame. The enduro is a great example, it's pretty inefficient in the big ring, but shift it down and it's a great climber. The smuggler should be a good climber even in a 30t ring though.

    Quote Originally Posted by bikesinmud View Post
    what you can expect from the smuggler.
    Transition Scout 27.5'' 2015 - Linkage Design



    Check these out (this is for the scout, but kinematics should be similar for the smuggler). To summarize, it looks like it will pedal very efficiently for any bike, with ~100% antisquat at sag, neutral braking, and a linearly progressive leverage rate. It's not as "fancy" as DW's stuff (which maintains 100% AS for longer), but it should still be a superb riding bike. The enduro 29 I have has a similar curve and it works very well, but it needs a smaller chainring to be as efficient as the smuggler.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich View Post
    I do like that with a front derailleur, you change the kinematics of a suspension bike, and can make a more aggressive climber out of a relatively lazy frame.
    Most people completely fail to understand this and just look at gear ratio.
    ...

  50. #50
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    Keep it as is without the FD.
    Only thing I'd like to see is a raw aluminum frame.

    For those of you going to outer bike, please ride the piss out of the smuggler and tell us about it.

    BTW, the smuggler reminds me of my TNT Sultan with spot rockers and a 130mm WB fork up front. With Mountain King 2.4s it owned the whole enchilada.

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    I wouldn't say it's a deal breaker but personally I'd at least like the option to run a FD if I wanted, as the other bikes in the new range give me, even if that meant a slight compromise in CS length. Heck, if a FD is good enough for Nico Lau, it's good enough for me. It also makes cheaper full builds easier, for those switching kit from existing bikes, or building up with a mid range Shimano groupset, which is much more affordable than an X1.

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    I for one am thrilled they dumped the FD for the sake of the CS length. It really makes a difference for the 29er breed. Short CS's make an otherwise cumbersome 29er rear end actually maneuver. Go rip around some tight corners and switchbacks with a short rear and you'll see the light. My order has been in on this bike for a while now and I'm ready. The more I look at the numbers, the more I salivate.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by fracaxis View Post
    I for one am thrilled they dumped the FD for the sake of the CS length. It really makes a difference for the 29er breed. Short CS's make an otherwise cumbersome 29er rear end actually maneuver. Go rip around some tight corners and switchbacks with a short rear and you'll see the light. My order has been in on this bike for a while now and I'm ready. The more I look at the numbers, the more I salivate.
    this.

    my 1st 29er was a full squish bike with long chainstays and a steep head angle. its handling was uninspiring in corners, and it pretty much sucked when descending anything steep or technical. to be fair, it climbed pretty well, but i got rid of it.

    my 2nd 29er has short stays and a slack head angle. unlike my 1st 29er, it's a blast in corners and is way more capable descending technical trails. it also climbs pretty well.

    considering that the 2nd bike is a hardtail with zero travel, and its frame isn't made from carbon or titanium with seemingly "magical" properties, the only explanation i have for why the 2nd bike rides better than the 1st is geometry: the combo of short stays and a slack head angle are where it's at for 29ers.

    my current full squish bike is one of these short travel 29ers with new school geometry like the smuggler, and it's one of the most fun bikes i've ever ridden since i started mountain biking 20 years ago.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikesinmud View Post
    BTW, the smuggler reminds me of my TNT Sultan with spot rockers and a 130mm WB fork up front. With Mountain King 2.4s it owned the whole enchilada.
    Nice, I rode a TNT Sultan with 120 Reba for 5 years, did the whole enchilada with a pair of 2.4 Ardents on it one year, awesome. I built up a Covert 29 last year and love the bike, realized the long TT on the Sultan was not a good thing. I really don't get this new style geometry, long TT and wheelbase just so you can run a short stem? Short stays are not gonna make up for the long wheelbase in tight technical cond's. Also, I would take a FD option over short stays any day of the week but I guess I'm in the minority there.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhill View Post
    Most people completely fail to understand this and just look at gear ratio.
    I agree with you !

    I live in the French Alps, and demoed an XX1 build. It's not ok for long sustained high altitude steep climbing (and i'm not of the climber morphotype)

    This is a deal breaker for me, i will have to looks elsewhere.
    Frenchspeaking 29"ers community site http://VingtNeuf.org

  56. #56
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    When do the first Smugglers hit the trails? Looking forward to some ride reports!

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    Quote Originally Posted by titusquasi View Post
    When do the first Smugglers hit the trails? Looking forward to some ride reports!
    I have a Smuggler demo waiting at my LBS to take out tomorrow. Trying out side by side with a Banshee Phantom, very excited and will certainly report back here.

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    Smuggler

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenacious Doug View Post
    I have a Smuggler demo waiting at my LBS to take out tomorrow. Trying out side by side with a Banshee Phantom, very excited and will certainly report back here.
    You lucky dog! Please do. Everyone here would love a side by side like that.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by fracaxis View Post
    You lucky dog! Please do. Everyone here would love a side by side like that.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yeah, I'm pretty lucky that my LBS (so local it's at the end of my street!) does both Banshee and Transition, so was surprisingly easy to arrange. Can't wait, here's hoping I have a new bike ordered by Sunday night!

  60. #60
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    Here they are in a lineup, ready and waiting! https://www.facebook.com/pedalsedinb...type=1&theater

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    Smuggler

    I'm green with envy man. I'm chomping at the bit to get my hands on that smug.


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  62. #62
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    Re: Smuggler

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenacious Doug View Post
    Here they are in a lineup, ready and waiting! https://www.facebook.com/pedalsedinb...type=1&theater
    We're counting on you!!!!!

    Don't let us down

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    If you could please compare the tire clearance for us that would be super awesome. If you have a caliper to measure the width...more awesome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin+M View Post
    We're counting on you!!!!!

    Don't let us down
    ha! i've been counting on you C+M to compare the smuggler with phantom, prime, punk ass behemoth, and every other similar bike you've owned or ridden. that comparo would be one helluva good thread ;^)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin+M View Post
    We're counting on you!!!!!

    Don't let us down
    No pressure then.....

  66. #66
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    Re: Smuggler

    Quote Originally Posted by slo_rider View Post
    ha! i've been counting on you C+M to compare the smuggler with phantom, prime, punk ass behemoth, and every other similar bike you've owned or ridden. that comparo would be one helluva good thread ;^)
    I should do a comprehensive review one day

  67. #67
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    Just in case anyone wants to get their e-speculation going a little more...

    Transition Smuggler 2015 - Linkage Design

  68. #68
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    Interesting read. Overall it looks pretty impressive I'd say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin+M View Post
    I should do a comprehensive review one day
    That would be awesome, please do!

    I'm going to be picking up a new frame in the next few months to build up before spring. I'm looking for something that I hope ends up being the FS equivilent to my Nimble 9. Right now my short list consists of the Smuggler, Phantom or the Behemouth.

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    Hope I get a chance to demo one of these. I can't decide whether I want to go the long travel route (Enduro 29er, Tallboy LT) or something like this (111, Phantom, Smuggler). I have a Honzo that I am going to keep. I think there may be too much overlap between the two.

  71. #71
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    Re: Smuggler

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Wankel View Post
    That would be awesome, please do!

    I'm going to be picking up a new frame in the next few months to build up before spring. I'm looking for something that I hope ends up being the FS equivilent to my Nimble 9. Right now my short list consists of the Smuggler, Phantom or the Behemouth.
    The Phantom is the best one yet. Super quick and agile. A complete blast.

    I will be trying the Smuggler as well once it's available.

  72. #72
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    Reporting back as promised.....
    In short, had a great day riding these 2 bikes, and of the two, the Smuggler was hands down the better bike to me.

    It was a pretty wet day to be out, so pretty accurate for me getting a feel of how the bikes handled typical Scottish conditions! For those that might be in the UK, the ride was at Glentress but with a heavy dose of off piste. Good trail centre stuff and some nice natural, steep, rooty and muddy tech. It's not the toughest riding in the area but it is somewhere I've ridden a lot, so was a good place to really evaluate both bikes. The Strava file is here if you are interested Mountain Bike Ride Profile | Transition v Banshee near Peebles EH45, UK | Times and Records | Strava

    A bit about me- I currently ride a 2010 Trek Remedy, I've been testing a few 29ers recently and have a Trek Remedy 29er, Stumpy Evo and Tallboy LT to compare to this. I race Enduro and prior to that DH, but prior to that I was at a slightly better than average Junior XC level, so I've always appreciated bikes with a bit of zip uphill.

    Points of note in the spec between the bikes- The Banshee had MRP forks while the Transition had Pikes, Banshee had Hans Dampf up front with a 2.35 Nobby Nic (2014) out back, while the Transition had the 2015 Nobby Nics in 2.25 at both ends. Otherwise the specs were pretty comparable. I didn't take the bikes to the scales but the Transition was noticeably lighter, a quick read at the stock spec weights online suggests maybe a lb or so?

    Uphill the Transition had the edge. Sitting and spinning away both bikes were fairly similar, though the Transition did have the feeling of being slightly less effort and towards the end of the ride this became more noticeable, this difference could easily be explained by the weight difference and tyres though. When the climbing got tech the Banshee maybe had the edge in grip, but it was pretty equal. Where the Transition really started to show superiority was as soon as you were up out the saddle, the Banshee really seemed to suck the power out your legs when you really needed to get the power down. The Smuggler was significantly better, it wasn't quite at the level of the Remedy or Stumpy in this regard but was pretty damn good.

    Downhill the Transition was significantly better when things were twisty and fast, it felt sprightly, fun, coming out of tight turns into hard acceleration the same traits that separated the two under power on the climbs was obvious, the Transition jumped forward while the Banshee felt a bit lethargic. The Banshee started to edge ahead a little when the downhill got steeper and more tech, for the most part due to the levels of grip, however it's really difficult to tell whether this was down to the bike or the tyres. I did actually set the faster times on the steep tech stuff while on the Transition, but it didn't feel quite as comfortable- Still very comfortable, just not as much.

    Downsides of the Transition? The BB was pretty low and I had a lot of pedal strikes, I'm sure I'd get used to it but there was times on less steep tech stuff when I really wanted to get on the gas but just kept slamming the pedals. It also was at it's best when you really put the effort into chucking it about, as we got later in the ride and running out of the energy to really chuck it around, it was pretty dull, still fast but dull. But let's be honest it's pretty inevitable that was going to be the case on a slack angled wagon wheeler.

    Between the two the Transition was absolutely the better bikes. My buddy who rode with me was in no doubt either. A couple of LB off the weight with a carbon frame would be the only thing I could reasonably suggest to improve it. Don't get me wrong the Banshee was a great bike, but the Smuggler was better in pretty much every way.
    Colin+M- You specifically asked about clearance, apologies but I forgot to take a tape measure. On the standard 2.25 tyres the clearance to the side was fine, but clearance to the top of the seatstay brace was fairly tight. I certainly wouldn't want to go any bigger, 2.25 on a wider rim (the stock rims were 23mm) would be the ideal to me, which is what I'd intend to do.

    So did I love it enough to buy one......maybe! I went in today with this being the deciding ride with me ordering the best bike. The Remedy 29er alu I had ridden was nice and I like the Trek suspension design, but the geometry of these bikes is horrific- short and high. The Stumpy Evo was an excellent bike, very fast, but I maybe wanted something a little more fun. The curve ball came in the shape of a 2015 Remedy Carbon owned by the manager of the bike shop at the trails. Trek really seem to have sorted the geometry problems for the carbon version of the Remedy 29er, being significantly longer and lower than the aluminium version, in fact even more so than the geometry charts from Trek seem to show. It fits me, where the aluminium version didn't, and I already know I like the Trek suspension setup. For little more than a full build Smuggler I can get similar spec Trek but with the carbon frame, a bike that I already feel is the better climber but 2lb lighter, so I'm pretty certain it will rip uphill. It also has an extra 30mm travel, not that I feel the Transition suffers from it, but it gives a little more get out of jail, and I certainly don't feel the Trek is more sluggish as a result.

    So I'm between the 2 bikes, it's a nice decision to have to make but hard! I'd rather be giving my money to the guys at Transition, but at the end of the day it's a lot of cash so I've got to go for the bike that's best, regardless who makes it. It may well come down the weight (ie. the frame material) and the impact that has on the ride of the 2 bikes, if the Smuggler came in carbon flavour I'd order it now, but without that option, it's going to be a hard call!

  73. #73
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    Thanks for the detailed write up!

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    Smuggler

    [QUOTE=Tenacious Doug;11565455

    Downsides of the Transition? The BB was pretty low and I had a lot of pedal strikes, I'm sure I'd get used to it but there was times on less steep tech stuff when I really wanted to get on the gas but just kept slamming the pedals. It also was at it's best when you really put the effort into chucking it about, as we got later in the ride and running out of the energy to really chuck it around, it was pretty dull, still fast but dull. But let's be honest it's pretty inevitable that was going to be the case on a slack angled wagon wheeler.

    [/QUOTE]

    The super low BB has been on my mind since I first saw the numbers. I'll try it stock first for sure, but I'm contemplating a 150 fork with a -1 angleset. Might make the front a little more dh capable and the BB a little less in the pedal strike zone. Definitely don't want to give it an unbalanced ride front and rear, but it's an idea. Per my calculations it will bring the bb up .25" and keep the HA the same. Anybody try something similar to this on another bike? Thoughts?


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    Smuggler

    ... And thanks for the report Tenacious.


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  76. #76
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    In regards to seat stay brace clearance, its good to know that wide rims don't make the tires taller. I'll be running 30mm I.D. rims on it so I'm glad the chainstay clearance is good to go.

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    Curious to know which rear shocks were mounted to each. Thanks for the comparison.
    Mrwhlr's stepmom rides a 5 spot

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndurBro View Post
    Curious to know which rear shocks were mounted to each. Thanks for the comparison.
    Monarch on both

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tenacious Doug View Post
    the Banshee really seemed to suck the power out your legs when you really needed to get the power down.
    I am pretty surprised at this comment. I have a Phantom and this has not been my experience at all. I find it to be a fairly efficient climber that does well when I am out of the saddle.

    I guess there is a lot of variability given shock setup / pressures etc.

    No doubt that the Smuggler would be a great bike. I owned a Bandit 29 before my Banshees (Prime then Phantom) and really liked it. Transition knows how to design a fun bike.

  80. #80
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    Same here.

    I can't say I'm disappointed in the Phantom in terms of efficiency. That being said, I am directly comparing it to the Prime. It's been over a year since I had the Ripley so that comparison is a no go although I'm sure the Ripley was more efficient. Maybe it was the tires/shock? Although that's not the first time I've heard someone who has ridden both say that the Smuggler edges it out ever so slightly.

    Comparing the linkage graphs of the Smugg and the Phantom, the Smuggler should edge it out due to slightly higher anti-squat.

    Needless to say, both seem to be great bikes. The Phantom, I know personally. The Smuggler...TBD.

  81. #81
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    Of course the shock setup may be a factor, it was set up for me, but with half a day to ride both bikes, I didn't spend spend hours tweaking suspension. Tyres and overall weight were certainly a factor, but there's no getting away from the weight difference between the 2 frames so its a reasonable comparison. Out of the saddle especially, its climbing efficiency was notably behind the Smuggler. Still, really nice bike, just not for me and not as good as the Smuggler.

  82. #82
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    I was asked over on another thread what my thoughts were on a Remedy 9.8 I took out at the weekend were compared to the Smuggler, it seemed to make more sense to put them here since my main opinion of the Smuggler is just above.

    I took out a Remedy 9.8 last weekend, spec was exactly as stock, it was one size too small for me, as had the Smuggler been I took out a couple of weeks before. I rode the same test loop as on the Smuggler, conditions were almost identical- Wet & muddy. I don't know about US prices but in the UK the Remedy is £4000 & the top end Smug I rode £3900, so very comparable price points.

    I've owned 2 Remedy 26ers and have previously test ridden the aluminium Remedy, so I've got a pretty good benchmark of how they ride. I won't go into an in depth Remedy review since this is a Transition board, but my thoughts on the main differences between the two.

    Climbing- The Trek is an absolute weapon. It's not to say that the Smuggler was a bad climber by any means but the Remedy was a rocket on both tech, steep, short, long, basically everything. I'd put the main differences between the two bikes down to the weight difference, the longer CS and the performance of the Reaktiv shock on the Trek in keeping the bike high in its travel and minimising bob during seated climbing. Itís difficult to say for certain which of these three was the main driver of the difference, but it was obvious. It's worth pointing out the Trek had lighter, narrower wheels and more XC tyres, which did help overall but I've had enough saddle time on various Remedyís to be able to know how much of a difference those made to the performance and isolate the benefits between the two bikes to the shock, weight and angles.

    Tech descending- More comparable than I thought to be honest. The Smuggler felt more comfortable overall but I feel most of the nervousness of the Trek could be put down to the narrow rims, less aggressive rubber, longer stem and narrower bars. The Remedy really surprised me here but it needs serious tweaks to spec to get the best out of it. The Remedy did edge ahead when you needed to get the power down on the more tech stuff as the higher BB height gave better clearance (worth noting I measured the BB height and it doesn't seem as high as it is on paper). That said, having gone back to the Smuggler spec it would appear the demo bike had 175mm cranks on it, so a set of 170s would really help.

    Fast/Flowing descending- I'd say on the smoother stuff at low to medium speeds (say sub 15mph??), especially when the corners were slightly tighter, the Smuggler had the edge. As above I don't think the spec of the Trek did it any favours but the lower BB and shorter chainstays certainly helped chuck the Smuggler about. As the speed went up and the corners started to open out, the Remedy felt more stable and carved through fast turns like nothing I've ridden recently

    Stiffness- The carbon helps here with the Remedy, but one thing really noteworthy was the rear end stiffness from the Boost 148 Hub on the Trek. Pretty confident in saying this new standard is not marketing guff, it's a real benefit that I would love to see other companies using on their 29ers. The Smuggler was not a flexy bike, but the Trek was great in this regard.

    Spec- So hereís where my big problem is with the Remedy, not just compared to the Smuggler but overall. The Remedy is a good bike for tech and descending, but it has the potential to be outstanding, the carbon version in particular is way ahead of its aluminium counterpart in geometry terms, in fact the geometry was (apparently) specifically developed with Tracy Moseley and Justin Leov based on what they wanted in an Enduro race bike, so you could say it is designed for the purpose of going downhill fast. But the way it is specced up is totally out of line with the capability of the frame on the downs- 760mm bars, 70mm stem on a 19.5Ē frame, 21mm wide rims shod with trail rubber. With comparable spec, I think the Remedy could marginally edge out the Smuggler in every area other than the chuckability in low and medium speed turns. Donít get me wrong, if I was on a shorter travel trail bike and wanted a bit more descending capability without compromising climbing, this would be a great buy and the spec is ideal, but it feels like Trek are adamant that if the public want a long travel Trek trail bike (or Enduro bike if you will) then they must go with the Slash, despite the fact that the Remedy carbon frame has been developed with their team to be the ultimate long travel trail/enduro bike. I really feel like they are selling the capability of the bike short with the spec, heck even if they offered a frame only option or better still did the equivalent of the Specialized Evo line, it would be great.


    So between the two, as they come off the shelf, the Smuggler is hands down the better bike for what I want. If you are maybe coming from a more XC background then the Remedy would be the better buy for its superior climbing ability. Were the spec comparable on the two then Iíd probably go with the Trek but I simply canít justify buying a bike at that price and then have to shell out to replace wheels, tires, bars and stem, nor can I get a frame only. Heck even if the aluminium Remedy had the same sizing and geometry Iíd be tempted by its lower price to allow budget to make the necessary changes.


    Iím 90% set on the Smug, it might seem like Iíve knocked it here but it is an awesome bike and really close to what I want, some 170 cranks to get over the clearance issues and some carbon rims to improve stiffness and give a bit more zip when climbing and it should be pretty much ideal. Given the choice Iíd maybe have a bit more CS length and a bit higher in the BB (basically as per the Trek), but Iím starting to get really fussy. Iím going to hang on a few weeks to see what Evil launch with their new 29er, but otherwise Iíll be pulling the trigger on the Smuggler.

  83. #83
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    great review! thanx for your thoughts!

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    Interesting read. Do you know what's the weight difference between the two frames? Thanks

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    From what I can gather the Smuggler is about .5 LBS lighter if that much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin+M View Post
    From what I can gather the Smuggler is about .5 LBS lighter if that much.
    That sounds about right. My Bandit 29 frame was right at .5 lbs lighter than my Phantom frame. I would expect the Smuggler to be similar weight to the Bandit.

  88. #88
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    I'm gonna just ride the Phantom until a hopefully carbon Smuggler materializes.

    As it stands I can't see the point in replacing the Phantom with an alloy version. Still looks like a phenomenal bike and if I didn't already have the Phantom,I'd be all over it.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by the evil bunny View Post
    Interesting read. Do you know what's the weight difference between the two frames? Thanks
    From Transition's site, claimed weight for a medium Smuggler frame w/ rear shock is 7.34 lbs.

    Real world weights for L Phantom (from the Banshee forum) are below.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregdogg View Post
    ...Picked up my large phantom

    Frame weight of the L was 7lb 15oz with shock, seat clamp, 142x12 dropouts and axle...
    For comparison's sake, QR seat clamps weigh about 50g and a 142x12 maxle lite weighs about 75g so if you subtract 125g (or about 4 oz), then L phantom w dropouts and shock weighs about 7lb 11 oz (7.7 lbs), which is pretty close to AOK's weight below:

    Quote Originally Posted by AOK View Post
    ...I mis-read Gregdogg's post. I was thinking he said 7.15 lbs when he actually said 7 lbs 15 oz. My large frame with shock and dropouts (no seat collar or axle) was 7.78 lbs...

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin+M View Post
    I'm gonna just ride the Phantom until a hopefully carbon Smuggler materializes.

    As it stands I can't see the point in replacing the Phantom with an alloy version. Still looks like a phenomenal bike and if I didn't already have the Phantom,I'd be all over it.
    of transition's 2015 giddy up link bikes, the only model rumored to be coming out in carbon is the 27.5 patrol:

    TRIBE-TRANSITION-Listino-Pubblico-2015.pdf

    from this site

    but teases of that new evil 29er look great--if it rides anything like their 26" Uprising, then i might need to sell one of my kidneys soon to fund a new frame.

  91. #91
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    I've also heard carbon only for the Patrol in 2015, but who knows what comes later

    Agree on the Evil 29er. Curious to see the specs.

  92. #92
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    Smuggler

    On weight - just for grins I looked up the weights of my last few FS frames (all size large):

    Bandit 29 - 7.21 lbs
    Banshee Prime - 8.5 lbs
    Banshee Phantom - 7.78 lbs

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by slo_rider View Post
    teases of that new evil 29er look great--if it rides anything like their 26" Uprising, then i might need to sell one of my kidneys soon to fund a new frame.
    And here I thought the only new FS bike I might be interested in is the mythical Yelli Squishy from Canfield.

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by AOK View Post
    And here I thought the only new FS bike I might be interested in is the mythical Yelli Squishy from Canfield.
    not to derail this fine thread, but i need to stop chasing unicorns and maybe just take my chances with a red headed hairdresser named tiffany instead

    the trail bike i'm most interested in, for the moment anyway, isn't in even production yet and i want the 29er version that only exists as a one-off prototype (but only if i can convince its builder to cobble mine with clearance for the new 2.8" and wider "27.5+" tires from WTB and Vee). Smuggler-image.jpg

  95. #95
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    Is that Chris Currie's project? Looks like the suspension design he was showing off on Canootervalve, but it's all gone a bit quiet since then!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnarly View Post
    Is that Chris Currie's project? Looks like the suspension design he was showing off on Canootervalve, but it's all gone a bit quiet since then!
    no, not his project. i don't wanna go further off topic so i sent you PM.

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    Love that color!

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    Do we have an update on when these will hit US soil?

  99. #99
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    I was told very soon...by the end of December.

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin+M View Post
    I was told very soon...by the end of December.
    Patiently waiting for mine to be shipped. I feel like a 10 year waiting for Santa Claus.
    I like bikes.
    2012 Transition TransAm 29er
    2010 Rigid Salsa Selma SS
    2015 Transition Smuggler
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